🇲🇽 Monzo in Mexico [Discussion]

Hi guys,

I know a few of you said you are going to Mexico and would try out your Monzo card there…Can any of you give updates to whether it worked and whether exchange rate was good?


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Hi @kajal,

In regards to the exchange rate you can view this at the Mastercard currency Converter.

These are estimated rates and change daily as all fx rates do. :mondo: do not charge a fee so I have been using the settings:
Transaction date: today
Transaction currency: destination currency (for you MXN)
Transaction amount: 1
Bank fee: 0
Card currency: British pounds GBP
and click calculate to find your rate for that date. The rates will fluctuate but it gives you a comparison and I have not been able to find a better rate yet.


Thanks David. Do you know whether the Monzo card will definitely work in Mexico though?

The card will work anywhere that MasterCard prepaid cards are accepted bearing in mind that as a general rule, offline transactions with Monzo cards won’t work & the existing known issues.

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Okay, so as long as I top it up before I go it should be fine?

Also what do you mean by ‘offline transaction’?

You can even top up while you’re there, assuming that you have an internet connection. But you should take another card with you, this is still a product that’s in beta so you should never rely on Monzo as your only source of funds.

I’d recommend taking some cash too, in case you can’t get to an ATM before you find your transport which may not accept card payments.

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I’ll let the Monzo blog explain this, rather than trying to describe these myself :slight_smile:

Offline Transactions

Sometimes, POS terminals aren’t able to establish a data connection to their Merchant Acquirer. Typically, this happens on aeroplanes and trains. In such a case, the card chip can be programmed to work in “offline” mode for a limited number of transactions. When the POS re-establishes a data connection (eg the aeroplane lands), the payments are uploaded to the Acquirer. The first the Issuer sees of this payment is in the “Presentment” file, which may be a day or two later.

While the blog mentions aeroplanes & trains, my guess is that offline terminals are more common in countries like Mexico, which have less advanced payment networks & communications infrastructure is some areas.


Thank you very much Alex! :slight_smile: This was very helpful.

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I used my card in Mexico without any issue whatsoever - just like being at home.

Also, Mexico has internet and phone lines- and typically verify transactions real-time so you should be ok. Like others suggest- do take an alternate card just in case- you would not want to be stranded!

Have a great trip! :mexico:



I’m in Mexico now and am having no problems at all using my Mondo card. The exchange rate is better than if I were to use my Lloyds Debit card especially considering the transaction fees.

If possible I would stick to using your Mondo card for card purchases, and avoid using the cash machines out here unless you can find one in a mainstream bank, as the fees and taxes for withdrawing money are astonishing. This is not a Monzo thing, it’s just the cost imposed by the cash terminals here and varies depending on which company is manageing them.

There is wifi or a full 4G mobile signal pretty much everywhere here, so it’s really easy to top up your Mondo card when it’s running low.

All in all it works perfectly here as it does everywhere else I’ve used it :smiley:

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Just to give everyone an update - I had absolutely no problem using my Monzo card in Mexico (Cancun). Sometimes my Monzo didn’t work with the new ATMs - the app stated ‘withdrawal with magstripe not supported’, but when this happened I just found another ATM which did work (usually the older looking ones). Not sure what that means or why it happens… Thanks to everyone who helped.


Following on from this last comment & some feedback that was shared today in another post -

iOS users can enable Magstripe withdrawals from Card > Profile > Security. If you’re an Android user, you’ll need to ask support to enable them for now.

You should also check that you’re a verified user, on iOS you can compare your limits from your Profile in the app with the limits for verified users listed here or if you’re an Android user, message the support team to check - again, this won’t be necessary :soon:

Sam has made a video of his experience with Monzo card in Mexico

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Hey im off to Cancun on Saturday and planning on using my Monzo card. Did you find most ATM’s charge for withdrawals? Or anywhere you’d recommend any certain ATM’s in particular to avoid astonishing charges? Thank youu

Hey, I didn’t find any ATMs that didn’t charge fees from what I remember…

Ahhh ok do you know if it was expensive? Am i better off taking cash or monzo card? Thanks for replying

The Monzo rate will definitely be better, since taking cash means you probably get charged fees at a cash exchange

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I’ve had problems with widthdrawing money from HSBC in Mexico, magstip enabled- the transaction doesn’t even reach the app to give a reason- it just gets cancelled at the ATM.

BBVA is the same

Santander is the most reliable with no problems.

The card also doesn’t work in A couple of retail stores (h and m and a Hurley store)- again nothing the app to say the reason- the transaction just didn’t get through.

These are the only issues I’ve had so far after 2 month.

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Out in Mexico at the moment and the current account card has been working flawlessly- thank you! I’m fact, it’s been working so well, two things have happened:

  1. I’ve forgotten to take another card out with me because it’s worked so well! :man_facepalming:

  2. Due to the great interface design (and having not cleared a previous transaction notification :wink:) I noticed some restaurants in Playa del Carmen (both using Santander PDQs- coincidence?) had been charging me in GBP, not Pesos (MXN)

It looks like merchants are technically supposed to get you to sign to say you understand you’ll not be charged the MasterCard rate but the slips saying this were always presented as transaction receipts to sign (which I initially thought was just a quirk of being in Mexico). I only happened to look back over the second slip I got because I noticed a GBP-only value appear in the app (immediately- :nerd_face:) then when I looked a bit closer; a GBP value, exchange and commission rates on the ‘receipt’.

It looks like the merchant has an option for local / foreign rate presented to them on the device as part of the process (as well as one for calculating and adding their tip!) so I’ll be asking them to charge me Pesos from now on…

Hopefully this will help someone else avoid the Santander (and possibly others) poorer rate / commission and get charged the great Monzo / MasterCard rate instead :+1::mexico: